Harry Braverman: Rockin' steady after all these years

October 20th, 2010

Harry Braverman’s seminal work on labour process, Labor and Monopoly Capital still kicks it nearly 40 years after its writing. A coppersmith by trade, Braverman was active in the socialist movement in the early years of his working life. He later became a journalist for the socialist press and eventually headed up 2 publishing houses. He held the Marxist view that rejects not science and technology per se but the way in whicfh these are used as “weapons of domination in the creation, perpetuation and deepning of a gulf between classes in society” (5). He acknowledges that his views are influenced by nostalgia for an age not yet come – one in which the worker gains the satisfaction born out of the conscious and purposeful mastery of their labour, aided by the “marvels of sicence and the ingenuityuof engineering” (ibid).

Marx shows in Vol. 1 of Capital how the processes of production are constantly transformed in capitalist society by its driving force, the accumulation of capital

Marx’s “General Law of Capitalist Accumulation”, which states that capitalism is characterized by the “amassing of wealth at one pole and of deprivation and misery at the other, are from being the egregious fallacy which bourgeois social science has long held it to be , has in fact turned out to be one of the best founded of all Marx’s insights…” (xxvii)

Cheapest Propecia Us
Fast Order Cialis
Buy Levitra Online Us
High Quality Cialis
Mexico Viagra
Cialis 100 Mg Generic
Online Pharmacy Propecia
Purchase Of Viagra Or Cialis Etc
Levitra Without Prescription
Canadian Pharmacy
Cialis Samples
I Need Viagra Now
How Much Is Viagra 50
Cialis Daily Cost
Viagra For Sale Online
Female Viagra Pills
Propecia Online Usa
Best Propecia Prices
Cialis At Real Low Prices
Canadian Phamacy
No Prescription Viagra
Buy Generic Levitra Online
Cialis Brand Only
Pfizer Viagra Uk
Viagra On Line
Cialis Overnight
Generic Viagra Online
Buy Cialis Online Canada
Canadian Pharmacy Online Cialis
Propecia For Sale
Buy Cheapest Propecia
Viagra Canada
Cialis Soft Canada
Generic Viaga Canada
Brand Viagra Over The Net
Best Online Cialis
Get Viagra Without Prescription
Cialis Discount
Canad Ian Pharmacy
Cheap 25mg Viagra
Viagra Online Cheap
Discount Propecia
Is Viagra Different From Levitra
Cheap Viagra Canada
Canada Pharmacy
Canadian Healthcare Viagra
Best Price Propecia
Buy Cheapest Cialis
Best Online Levitra
Ordering Cialis Online
Order Propecia
Online Pharmacy Levitra
Generic Viagra From Canada
Cialis Fast Delivery Usa
Best Cialis Price
Generic Propecia Without Prescription
Canadian Non Prescription Viagra
Get Viagra Fast
Order Usa Viagra Online
Cialis Buy
Viagra Tablets
Overnight Viagra
Herbal Viagra
Buy Propecia 5mg
On Line Pharmacy
5 Mg Propecia
Levitra For Cheap Canadian Pharmacy
Cialis In India
Buy Levitra Online Without Prescription
Cialis Soft Tabs Quick Delivery No Prescription
Levitra For Women
Canadian Pharmacy Ed
Viagra 100 Mg
Non Prescription Viagra
Propecia Discount
Canadian Healthcare Generic Cialis
Generic Cialis Sale
Minoxidil Propecia Nizoral
Best Price For Propecia
Buy Levitra Us
Best Canadian Pharmacy
Best Deal For Propecia
Buy Fast Propecia
Buy Cheap Generic Levitra
Cialis 20 Mg 10 Pills
Cialis Generic Recommended
Viagra Canadian Pharmacy
Brand Viagra
Generic Cialis Soft Tabs

Kingston rocks. Who knew?

January 16th, 2010

(I had a nice photo here of Skeleton Park but the photographer asked me to take it down or he would send me a $1000 bill for copyright violation… I sent him the link to Creative Commons.)
I am on the train, leaving Kingston where I’ve spent the last two days at a workshop.

I stayed with my good friend, The Uze, at his rad pad, which is owned by his roommate, Spink. Everyone refers to this house as “The Tavern”, apparently because in the “old days” it was a drinking establishment. Now it’s a lovely, cozy bohemian-type living space decorated in vintage-shop style, with couches and cushions and candles and two stuffed horse heads, adorned in wigs and scarves, hanging over one doorway with a hand-scrawled note: Forbidden love? It is an inviting, open space, painted in vibrant earth tones (my comfort colours), and designed for communal living; I was immediately at home.

The Uze walked me over to Queen’s University the fist night for the opening lecture by CCTV man Clive Norris (whom I kept wanting to refer to as Chuck Norris). That was when I began to fall in love with Kingston. The Tavern is right on the cusp of this lovely urban park, nicknamed Skeleton Park for it’s previous stint as a graveyard. This is a delightful park, with paths cutting across it from various directions, connecting it to the surrounding streets and hood. Immediately I spied the ice rink, and boys playing pick-up hockey in their short sleeves. I caught my breath at this sight, immediately hurtled back in time, to my childhood, and Kew Gardens rink, where I would often go with my siblings or friends. Memories of oversweet, watery hot chocolate, the futility of double socks and stiff fingers lacing up second-hand skates on the windblown benches are etched like tableaus in my mind. I was overcome with an aching nostalgia for Canadiana, my past, and an innocent, beautiful time that perhaps never was.

We walked through quiet streets of gorgeous old brick houses and I realized how much I’ve missed brick living on the Left Coast. More nostalgia, and something Smith (a west coast transplant) could not appreciate as we walked back later that night. The Uze and I followed Princess St, listing toward the U, and it was then that I realized not only how walkable, but how liveable Kingston is. There was everything you would need on this main drag – independent and chain retailers, restaurants, cafés. And not just one block of this stuff – the strip went on for probably 15 blocks. Naturally there was a Tim’s, seemingly the heart and hub of action, but also Brian’s Record Option, the Sleepless Goat Café Workers Co-op and some little hemp shop where the guy was so stoned he first overcharged, then undercharged me for some beeswax candles.

Queen’s itself is a venerable old institution, backbone of the old boys network doubtless, but with an air of dignity and history nevertheless. The workshop was very well run, with decent food and a great art component designed into the program. One thing I really enjoy about working on the research project that has hired me as a post-doc is its commitment to public dissemination of research, as well as its inclusion of non-academic elements and people (such as artists and activists). I met some rad folks working in the “surveillance scene” (as I like to call it), and even made a Windsor connection.

In all, it was a great trip. As I tromped around Kingston, to-ing and fro-ing from the workshop, I did my usual trick of imagining I lived there. I typically do this upon arrival in a new town that seduces me with its promise and novelty. Just as I haven’t moved to New Orleans or Montreal or New York, however, I likely won’t be moving to Kingston any time soon. But it’s good to dream.

Viagrabest Viagra
40mg Cialis
Cialis 20mg One A Day
Soft Cialis
Canadian Viagra Sales
Cialis Cost
Buy Levitra Lowest Prices
Online Levitra
Soft Viagra
Indian Cialis Generic
Generic Cialis Mexico
50mg Viagra Retail Price
Buy Cheap Levitra
Cialis Levitra
Buy Levitra Without Prescription
Purchase Cialis Soft Tabs
Purchase Real Name Brand Viagra
Viagra Order
Buy Propecia
Cialis Prices
Cialis Without Prescription
Brand Viagra Canada
Canadian Pharmacy Viagra Prescription
Official Canadian Pharmacy To Buy Levitra
Propecia 1mg
Buy Discount Viagra
Levitra Sale
Canadian Healthcare Pharmacy
New Canadian Meds
Pfizer Viagra Cheepest Prices
Buy Viagra And Receive It In Canada Fast
Best Price Levitra
Best Doses For Propecia
Online Viagra
Ordering Viagra Overnight Delivery
Canadian Online Pharmacy
Buy Can From I Propecia Who
Cialis Dosage
Canada Levitra
Cialis Online No Prescription
Cialis Without Prescription Brand Name
Canada Cheap Viagra
Generic Viagra Propecia
Buy Mg Propecia
Buy Cialis On Line
Buy Cheap Propecia Online
Buy Viagra Cheap
Online Pharmacy Shop Canadian Healthcare Pharmacy
Buy Now Viagra
Buy Viagra On The Internet
Buy Viagra Online Without Prescription
Ordering Cialis Gel
Cialis Online From Canada
Levitra On Sale
Generic Levitra Overnight Delivery
Price Cialis
Brand Viagra Professional
Buying Viagra
Levitra Purchase
Buy Viagra Uk
Buying Real Viagra Without Prescription
Buy Cheap Levitra Online
Cialis For Sale Online
Propecia Online Pharmacy No Prescription
100 Mg Viagra
Canadian Pharmacy Cialis Generic
Best Price For Levitra
Price Cialis Canada
Canadian Pharmacy Viagra
Brand Cialis
Buy Viagra In New Zealand
Propecia Online Pharmacy
Cnadian Viagra India
Cheap Viagra No Prescription
Low Cost Viagra
Pharmacy Support Viagra
2 Day Cialis Delivery
Buy Propecia Uk
Once A Day Viagra
Propecia No Prescription
Cialis Price
Order Viagra Uk
Brand Name Cialis Overnight
Mail Order Propecia
Cialis Online Canada
Cialis No Prescription Needed Quick Delivery
Cheap Cialis From India
Genuine Cialis Online
Canadian Cialis Uk
Purchase Cialis Overnight Delivery

Critical Mass: Occupying the Lion’s Gate Bridge

June 27th, 2009
About 2000 Vancouverites participated in the June 26 Critical Mass ride, which ended on the Lions Gate Bridge

About 2000 Vancouverites participated in the June 26 Critical Mass ride, which ended on the Lion's Gate Bridge. (photo copyleft Rodger Levesque)

I participated in my first Critical Mass Ride since moving to Vancover in 2004. When I lived in Ontario, I was a commuter cyclist, beginning in my undergrad days at U of T, where my bike was an extension of my body. I went everywhere on it, rain or snow, day or night. When I moved to Windsor, Car and Smog Capital of Canada, I was one of perhaps 10 commuter cyclists in the city. There were no bike lanes and I was told that I literally took my life into my own hands when riding certain roads, despite the fact that bicycles were (and still are) designated as vehicles by the Ontario Highway Traffic Act subject to the same rules of the road as automobiles.

Those were the days when I was working at ROOM magazine, an alt weekly I co-founded with NotLeftToChance in 1994. One of the bees in our bonnet was cycling in Car Town, and we wrote a lot about the environmental, health and community benefits of human-powered transportation. We supported the city’s Bicycling Committee in its fight to put bike paths on Riverside Drive, something the (ill-informed, yet well heeled) residents opposed. We organized Windsor’s first Bike-to-Work-Week, and we held the first mass ride – I think there were about 10 people on it, which, despite the small number, still produced an odd sight in a town where there is one mode of transportation: driving. To see people walking, let alone cycling, is strange indeed. Today, some “inroads” have been made to raise the profile of cycling in Windsor, though I’m not sure how much of the Bicycle Use Master Plan has been implemented.

Having young children, moving to a new city and starting my PhD really put the brakes on my cycling. My old bike, which I brought from Windsor, rusted in the rain. I found myself with little time for cycling, and little inclination – I didn’t venture too far from home with the kids, and walking suited us just fine. I took transit to school everyday, and that was that.

Then two birthdays ago, I got a new bike. A shiny orange cruiser with fat tires and no gears. I slowly got back into the cycling groove. I’ve wanted to attend a mass ride for awhile now, and yesterday’s beautiful weather decided it for me. As it turns out, the weather also called out at least a couple thousand Vancouverites, who converged at the Vancouver Art Gallery for what would be the year’s biggest ride yet.


A researcher from SFU's psychology department interviews me about Critical Mass for the study Bike Activism & Collective Action. Photo copyleft Rodger Levesque.

The ride was super fun – a nice tour of parts of downtown and the west end that I don’t get to very often, being fairly ensconced in the Republic of East Van. There is truly something amazing about doing the unexpected and forbidden – about gathering together with other cyclists to ride en masse on the city roads – normally so hostile and dangerous for the two-wheeled. There is an exhilerating feeling of liberation, of community, and the sense, too, that things could be different, could be better. That we would make it better together.

The ride had its tense moments too. I’ve learned that this comes from confronting the status quo with alternatives, with forcing people to step out of their comfort zones (in this case, the security and isolation of their metal shells). I did witness some confrontations with motorists. Those who tried to bypass the “corkers” (cyclists who block oncoming traffic by lining their bikes up in a row across an intersection) were surrounded by more cyclists. In this scenario, someone usually tries to engage in polite, educational dialogue, to assuage the motorist’s concerns and develop allies.

As the Critical Mass Vancouver blog states:

This is not an us vs car drivers ride. Those stuck in car traffic are our friends and we need to be polite and respectful of them as we increase the traffic by putting more people on the roads. We do have to prevent cars from entering the mass and if anyone tries to use a car as a weapon to threaten aggressive force we call 9-11 and try to defuse the tension.

Most drivers I saw were pretty calm. A lot looked annoyed, many were resigned, and some called out questions. My favourite, of course, were the ones who honked and waved and smiled. One guy got out of his car, cranked the tunes, and watched the scene go by. Not surprisingly, though, some drivers became irate, shouting at cyclists. One woman even opened her car door into the ride and refused to move from beside the door, making a slow-moving part of the ride even slower as bikes wended their way along Beach Ave. Mostly, the mass riders I saw were cool and polite (though, like any large group, there are always those who don’t adhere to the spirit or intent). Sadly, conflict is inevitable when dealing with motorists who see driving (often single-occupancy) cars as their godgiven right, inalienable as their property rights.

Vancouver Critical Mass, June 26, 2009

Bikes and the City: A pretty awesome mix. Photo copyleft Rodger Levesque

I understand that the wait was long (at least an hour or more in spots) and I understand that it was the end of a long day, at the end of a long week. But progressive social change isn’t convenient. It isn’t comfortable. It takes and shakes us out of our complacency, out of our routines, which – in the case of massive over-driving – is having devastating impact on our planet and human health. Cars kill, literally. For example, a 2005 study found smog -  a key ingredient of which is the major atmospheric pollutant carbon monoxide, a by-product of internal combustion engine use – kills thousands of Canadians prematurely each year. There were 2,889 people killed and 199,337 people injured in road crashes in Canada during 2006 (the most recent year for which official statistics are available).

Like everything, this translates into dollars and cents. One government study estimated that the social cost for car collisions is $62.7 billion a year or about 4.9 per cent of Canada’s 2004 Gross Domestic Product. BC ranked fourth among the provinces, with annual costs of $8.8 billion (see the Transport Canada report). Another Transport Canada report estimates the annual financial cost of roads to be $156.35 billion, and the social costs (such as accidents and pollution) were $29.59 billion.

There is some irony in the fact that Vancouver motorists willingly wait two or three  hours to cross the border or board a ferry in long, boring, sweaty line-ups. But for the odd time they might encounter a mass ride, whose social objectives are hard to argue with, they often can’t see beyond the smog horizon. We forget that along with certain rights (and I’d seriously question that auto travel is a right) that membership in society confers, it also conveys responsibilities. We are beholden to our fellow humans. We are required to husband this earth, from which we derive sustenance and often abundance. We don’t just get to drive in our isolated metal shells from the suburbs to work in the city every day and ignore the consequences. Critical Mass simply draws our attention to the consequences of our behaviour. And points to positive alternatives. Better health. Cleaner air. Physical connection to our streets and neighbourhoods. Strengthening of community, and of the caring it brings.

There was time when it was inconvenient to have women in the workplace. And to have black people sit at the front of the bus. Social change is uncomfortable. Sometimes it even hurts. But it is necessary if we are to continue to evolve as a sustainable, equitable and caring species.

How can we change?

1. Stop driving to work if it’s under a 15 minute drive. Ride your bike, walk, or take transit.

2. Stop driving if you live within a 10 minute walk from transit. Buy a pass. Get going.

3. Carpool. Find someone at work with whom you can do this. Make it work.

4. Sell your car! Join a car co-op and drive only when it’s really necessary.

All these things will improve your physical fitness, save you money and maybe, just maybe, lead to something interesting, something that the isolation and alienation of car travel could never provide. And remember, Critical Mass is the last Friday of every month, rain or shine. Save yourself the “hassle” and don’t plan to be anywhere near the core of the city with your car between 6 and 8pm. Telecommute, take transit or goddessforbid, bring your bike and join the ride!!

See you on your bike!

The human problem of capitalism or Being on the winning team

April 10th, 2009

I am enjoying reading Fromm very much. He formulates the human problem of modern capitalism (circa 1950s) this way:

“Modern capitalism needs men who cooperate smoothly and in large numbers; who want to consume more and more; and whose tastes are standardized and can be easily influenced and anticipated. It needs men who feel free and independent, not subject to any authority or principle or conscience—yet willing to be commanded, to do what is expected of them, to fit into the social machine without friction; who can be guided without force, led without leaders, prompted without aim—except the one to make good, to be on the move, to function, to go ahead.

What is the outcome? Modern man is alienated from himself, from his fellow men, and from nature. He has been transformed into a commodity, experiences his life forces as an investment which must bring him the maximum profit obtainable under existing market conditions. Human relations are essentially those of alienated automatons, each basing his security on staying close to the herd, and not being different in thought, feeling or action. While everybody tries to be as close as possible to the rest, everybody remains utterly alone, pervaded by the deep sense of insecurity, anxiety and guilt which always results when human separateness cannot be overcome.”

Fromm adds that capitalist society offers numerous palliatives to  help people deal with their devastating aloneness, their unconscious despair: the routine of monotonous work; the routine of amusement and the unsatisfiable satisfaction of buying new things. In this way, contemporary society is close to Huxley’s Brave New World, where people are “well fed, well clad, satisfied sexually, yet without self, without any except the most superficial contact with his fellow men.”

“The world is one great object for our appetite, a big apple, a big bottle, a big breast; we are the sucklers, the eternally expectant ones, the hopeful ones—and the eternally disappointed ones. Our character is geared to exchange and to receive, to barter and to consume; everything, spiritual as well as material objects, becomes an object of exchange and of consumption.”

Buy Generic Levitra
Buy Levitra Online No Prescription
Best Price Levitra Online
Canadian Pharmacy Propecia
Real Cialis
Express Viagra Delivery
Buy Cialis Next Day Delivery
Cialis On Line
Cialis Canada Online Pharmacy No Prescription
How To Get Cialis Without Prescription
Large Pharmacy Discount Code
Canadian Health Care
Branded Viagra
Canadian Pharmacy Viagra Legal
Discount Canadian Cialis
Cialis Viagra
Generic Cialis Canada
Buy Viagra Mexico
Cialis 100 Mg
Canadian Rx Viagra
Online Pharmacy
Cialis No Rx Required
Levitra Tablets
Buy Viagra Germany Canadian Meds
Cheap Viagra
Viagra Pfizer
Buy Viagra From Canada
Get Viagra
Buy Real Viagra Online Without Prescription
Bestellen Levitra Online
Cialis For Daily Use
Levitra Vs Viagra
Buying Viagra Without Prescription
25mg Viagra Online
Buy Viagra Online
Cialis Generic Sale
Canadian Viagra For Sale
Cheapest Viagra Prices
Online Cialis
Buy Cialis Professional
Canadian Pharmacy Cialis 5 Mg
Is It Legal To Bye Viagra From Canada
Levitra 10mg
Diuretics And Viagra
Cialis Cheap Delivery
Buy Viagra Without A Prescription
Buy Viagra Cialis Levitra
Buy Propecia 5mg Online Uk
Cheap Canadian Propecia
Cialis No Prescription
Bruising On Cialis
Cialis Daily In Canada
Best Way To Take Cialis
Buy Cialis Once Daily
Buy Levitra American Pharmacy
Cialis Order
Fast Dilivery Viagra To Canada
5 Mg Cialis Canada
Canadian Pharmacy Support Team
Cialis Canada
Cialis Delivered Overnight
Propecia Sales Canadian
Once Daily Cialis Online Prescription
Propecia 5mg Online
Hydrochlorothiazide Cialis
Viagra Professional
Buy Cialis 5 Mg
Levitra Discount
5 Mg Cialis
Canadian Pharmacy Online
Buy Viagra Online In Canada
Cialis 30 Mg
Buy Viagra 100mg
Buy Canada Levitra
Buy Levitra Low Price
Viagra More Drug Uses
Cialis Levitra Viagra
Ordering Viagra Online
Cialis 20mg
Purchase Viagra Etc From Canada
Buy Cheap Online Propecia
Levitra Professional
Canada Meds Viagra
Buy Canada In Propecia
Cialis Alternative
Levitra 20mg
Cialis Canadian
Generic Cialis From India
Cheapest Cialis
Online Us Viagra
Buy Online Propecia

The Art of Loving

April 10th, 2009

Erich Fromm wrote The Art of Loving in the early fifties. It’s pretty rad. In his section on Love of God, he writes of the the “true kernel” of monotheistic religion, “the logic of which leads exactly to the negation of this concept of God. The truly religious person, if he follows the essence of  the monotheistic idea, does not pray for anything, does not expect anything from God; he does not love God as a child loves his father or her mother; he has acquired the humility of sensing his limitations, to the degree of knowing that he knows nothing about God.”

Cool so far. Fromm continues:

“He has faith in the principles which ‘God’ represents; he thinks turth, lives love and justice, and considers all of his life only valuable inasmuch as it gives him the chance to arrive at an ever fuller unfolding of his human powers—as the only reality that matters, as teh only object of ‘ultimate concern’; and eventually, he does not speak about God—nor even mention his  name. To love God, if he were going to use this word, would mean, then, to long for the attainment of the full capacity to love, for the realization of that which ‘God’ stands for in oneself.”

Right on.

Bio Viagra Herbal
Levitra Online Pharmacy
Buy Cialis Generic
Levitra Online
Buy Cialis Without A Prescription
Get Viagra Without A Prescription
Cialis One A Day
Propecia Fast No Prescription
Cialis London Delivery
Cialis Buy Purchase Fast Delivery
Cost Of Viagra
Legal Pharmacy Online
Viagra Legal
How Can I Buy Viagra In Canada
Purchase Cialis
Buy Cheap Propecia
How Do U Buy Propecia In Canada
Cialis On Women
Discount Viagra Soft Gels
Cialis Fast Delivery
Buy Levitra Online Viagra
Cialis Generico
Cialis Canadian Cost
Canadian Pharmacy With Lowest Generic Viagra
Best Canada Meds
Buy Viagra From China
Buy Levitra In Europe
Cheap Cialis
Canadian Pharmacy Cialis
Canadian Pharmacy Viagra Cheap
Canadian Viagra
Online Order Cialis
Cialis Online Pharmacy Canada
Viagra Of Pfizer
Best Viagra
Propecia Without A Prescription
Inexpensive Viagra
Pfizer Viagra
Cialis Fast
Official Canadian Pharmacy
Cialis Vs Viagra
Buy Dosages Levitra
Viagra Brand
Buy Viagra Australia
Cost Of Daily Cialis
Brand Name Cialis
Pfizer Viagra Online
Viagra Side Effect
Buy Viagra Online Cheap
Cialis 20 Mg Tablet
Nizagara Viagra Online
Buy Viagra In Australia
Low Cost Canadian Viagra
Canadian Levitra
No Prescription
Cialis 20
Cialis Low Price
Brand Viagra Without Prescription Buy
5 Mg Propecia Buy
Cialis Soft Tablets
How To Get Cialis No Prescrip Tion
Mexico Pharmacy Cialis
Buy Viagra Lowest Price Canada
100 Mg Cialis
Canada Viagra Pharmacies Scam
Buy Levitra Vardenafil
Australia Healthcare Online Viagra
Buy Levitra Uk
Cheap Onlin Viagra In Usa
Buy Generic Propecia Online
Buy Online Prescription Propecia
Cailis Canadian Farmacy
100mg Viagra
Canadian Healthcare
Viagra Cost
Order Cialis Online Canada
How To Get Cialis No Prescription
Cialis Generic
Low Price Propecia
Cheap Generic Viagra India
Get Cialis
Cheap Viagra 100mg
Cheap Canadian Viagra
Buy Viagra Online Without A Prescription
Cialis From India
Cialis Usa Women
Propecia 5mg
Buy Viagra Canada
Get Levitra
Cheap Propecia

What I dig about Critical Theory

February 13th, 2009

There’s a reason I’ve always felt an affinity for critical theory. Early on, it was more of an intuition, like right, these folks are really on to something.  Max Horkheimer, of course, is more articulate in his 1937 definition of critical theory as:

1. “a theory dominated at every turn by a concern for reasonable conditions of life;

2. a theory which Condemns exisitng social institutions and practicies as ‘inhuman’;

3. a theory which contemplates the need for ‘an alteration of society as a whole.”

Is it any wonder this is my theoretcial framework, my intellectual orientation and foundation? It just seems so simple, so obvious and so sensible.

Best Place To Buy Viagra In Canada
Buy Viagra Online Paypal Vipps
Canadian Pharmacy Discount Code
Get Cialis Very Fast
Viagra Soft Tabs 100 Mg
Pharmacy Fast Delivery Viagra
Viagra Buy Now
Viagra Pills
Pharmacy Discount
Cialis On Sale
Viagra 50 Mg
Cheap Viagra 50mg
Cialis Uk
25 Mg Viagra
Generic Viagra
Cialis Professional 100 Mg
Baldness Male Propecia
Best Levitra Price
Cialis Women
Canadian Cialis
Purchase Cialis 5 Mg
Buy Cialis Online Uk
Best Recognized Pharmacy In Canada For Viagria
Buy Cialis
How To Get Cialis In Canada
Cheap Viagra Fast Shipping
Discount Cialis
Canadian Generic Viagra On Line
Overnight Viagra Delivery
Indian Levitra
Cheap Generic Levitra
Buy Cialis From Canada
Propecia Mexico
Buy Propecia Online
Canadian Pharmacy Shop
Cialis Costs
Cialis Daily
Buying Cialis
Buy Now Propecia
Cialis Quick
Cialis Brand Name
Mexico Viagra No Prescription
Cialis Professional
Cialis From Mexico
50 Mg Cialis
Cialis Woman
Cheap Levitra On Line
Canadian Viagra Generic
Canada Cialis
Discount Cialis And Viagra
Viagra And Three Day Delivery
Real Viagra Gel
Cialas Canada
Budget Cialis
Buy Viagra Without Prescription
Propecia Without Perscription
Purchase Cialis Cheap
Canadian Pharmacy Cialis Pfizer
Natural Viagra
Buy Pfizer Viagra In Canada
Cialis Daily Availability
Order Viagra 25mg Online Canada
Cialis For Women
Canadian Viagra Scam
Buy Real Cialis Online
Canadas 1 Pharmacy
Canadian Pharmacy Levitra Value Pack
Generic Levitra Canadian Healthcare
Online Canadian Pharmacy Levitra
Viagra Scams Canada
Cheap Generic Viagra Online
How Do I Get Cialis
Get Pharmacy
Canadian Pharmacy Discount Code Viagra
Levitra For Sale
Canada Viagra Generic
Best Viagra And Popular In Uk
Canadian Health Care Pharmacy Order Viagra
Cialis Daily Price
Best Price On Propecia
Online Pharmacy Cialis Brand
Non Pescription Cialis
Female Viagra
Order Levitra
Buy Cialis Fedex Shipping
Canada Viagra
Approved On Line Drug Stores
Propecia Lowest Price
Buy Propecia Online Without Prescription

Dear Dan from your virtual fag hag

February 2nd, 2009

I have always been an advice column reader. Not an advice seeker, mind, and rarely an advice giver. But when I was 12 – 11 maybe – I began reading Ann Landers. Her column was the first thing I’d turn to in the newspaper (the second, pets classifieds and third – if it was a weekend – comics). I would pick up papers in the subway, doctor’s office, or wherever I happened to be, eagerly searching out her words of advice. I would read Dear Abby only in desperation, and in my young and humble opinion, her counsel was inferior to that of her sis. Anyhoo. Ann died, and as it turned out, I agreed with her less and less, despite being a faithful reader until her death. Though she was pro-choice and supported the legalization of prostitution, I found her attitude toward sex to be fairly conservative.

There have only been two advice columnists in my life since: Rob Brezny and Dan Savage. Rob Brezny is a bitter disappointment, as I have mentioned before. Basically, he writes a kick ass horoscope column, Free Will Astrology, with assignments rather than predictions for his readers. My friends have these amazing connections with column, and can’t believe how insightful and prescient it is, how Rob just seems to *see* into their innermost selves blahbitty blahbitty blah. But he must have a karmic block when it comes to Leo or something. Whatever it is, his advice to Leo is uninspired new age crap that falls flat almost every time.

Dan Savage is a different story. I came across Dan as I began to part ideological ways with Ann Landers, in my early 20s. He was touring the college circuit promoting his new book, The Kid. I remember reading an ad for his talk in one of the alternative weeklies. I thought: 2 gay guys adopting a kid. Cool.

Shortly after I discovered his advice column, written for The Stranger, Seattle’s alt weekly that he helped found, and syndicated in The Metro Times (Detroit). I have been a devotee ever since. Really. Sad to say, I feel a bit like a virtual fag hag. I think he’s the bees knees and I wish I had been reading him from pre-pubescence and not Ann Landers. Things might have been different.

But not only am I down with most if not all of the advice Dan doles out, I really dig his political approach to sex. And not just sex for homos – which of course is a hot button topic pretty much everywhere. Dan puts out for the hets as well, reminding them that their sexual freedoms are not etched in stone tablets handed down from the gee oh dee but highly contingent, historical and fading before our very eyes. I like how Dan uses his column to educate readers and disseminate important perspectives that are woefully absent from the mainstream and the even the alt-mainstream press. I love even more that he is unapologetic about it. That he swears in his column. That he doesn’t mind to call you a piece of shit if you are one. And that he writes his column in a bar. But for all his brashness and swagger and gay snarkiness Dan is a loyal, loving and all round decent human being. You can just tell. See? Virtual fag hag.

But this isn’t why I’m writing. I’m writing to give a little love to Dan’s new “word”, “saddlebacking.” In fact, it’s not Dan’s word at all. Periodically, Dan has contests where readers are asked to do something. The contest this time sought to redefine the word “saddleback” – the name of the evangelical christian megachurch founded by anti-homo pastor Rick Warren. It all started with Stephen Colbert suggesting “saddleback” was a sex act. Way back in December, a Savage Love reader asked Dan if it was indeed. And thus the contest was born. Thousands of suggested definitions clogged Dan’s inbox, and finally, the long awaited results last week:

Saddlebacking: the phenomenon of Christian teens engaging in unprotected anal sex in order to preserve their virginities.” After attending the Purity Ball, Heather and Bill saddlebacked all night because she’s saving herself for marriage.

Way to call it, Savage Love folk. Saddlebacking is the second word Savage Love readers have defined, or redefined. The first was Santorum, as in Rick Santorum, member of the American Taliban, whose family name will forever after be known as “that frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex.”

As usual, I can’t wait for this week’s column.

Cialisis In Canada
Cialis In Canada
Cheap Viagra Or Cialis
Buy Cialis Without Prescription
Levitra Uk
Canadian Women Viagra
Cialis Online Doctor
Cheapest Levitra
Buy Levitra Online From Canada
Indian Viagra
How To Get Cialis
Generic Levitra Vardenafil
Get Cialis Online
Generic Viagra In Canada
Cialis Pfizer
Buying Viagra Online
Buy Viagra Pills
Buy Cialis Online In Usa
Propeci A Sale
Buying Cialis Online
Buy Generic Cialis
Online Pharmacy Viagra Ottawa Canada
Cialis Online Canada No Prescription
Propecia Prescriptions
Canadian Pharm Propecia Online
Cialis On Line Canada
Cialis Next Day Delivery
Best Prices For Propecia
Viagra Pills Canadian
Canada Cialis Online
Levitra Uphs
Cheap Cialis India
Cialis Online For Canadian
Viagra Soft Tablets
Canada Generic Propecia
Buy Viagra In Canada
Daily Cialis For Sale
Cialis Tablets Vs Viagra
5mg Propecia
Cheap Viagra With Fast Delivery
Cialis 5 Mg Italia
Canadian Pharmacy Viagra Scam
Generic Propecia Mastercard
25mg Viagra
Cialis Overnight Delivery
Cialis Germany
Cialis 20 Mg
Levitra Vs Cialis
Cialis For Less 20 Mg
Propecia Cheap
Buy Viagra Online Canadian Phamacy
Levitra Prices
Online Viagra Scams
Cialis Once Daily
Best Online Generic Levitra
Best Price For Propecia Online
Brand Cialis For Sale
How To Get Viagra
Generic P Ropecia Finasteride
Prescription Viagra
Cialis Profesional
Buy Pfizer Viagra
Cialis By Women
Cialis For Sale
Best Shop For Viagra
Alternatives To Cialis
Cialis Online Without Prescription
Cialis Professional 20 Mg
Buy Now Online Propecia
Cheapest Propecia In Uk
Cheap Levitra Tablets
Original Cialis
How Much To Buy Viagra In Pounds
Pfizer Viagra Canada
Best Way To Use Cialis
Buy Cialis Without Rx
Cialis From Canada
Order Levitra Online
Viagra Made In India
Online Pharmacies
Combine Cialis And Levitra
Order Generic Levitra
Best Place Cialis
Rx Cialis
Buy Levitra Online
Canadian Cialis United Pharmacy
Canada Meds
Canada Prescriptions Levitra
Buy Levitra With No Prescription

So much for new year’s resolutions

December 28th, 2008

I don’t usually make new year’s resolutions. Nor ny’s reservations for that matter, or any big plans around this fairly arbitrary and thus meaningless date – concept really. I realized from a young age that the resolutions never stick – are a set-up for failure basically – and that the night itself is usually awash in disappointment. At the least it never meets expectations.

But. With me, hope springs eternal, despite the shit and horror of this world. I am the hopeful despondent. And so when Trophycase drew my attention to my horoscope in Free Will Astrology, I gave it a gander. Now, I have written about Rob Breszny’s FWA before … and my assessment remains the same – Leos get the short shrift in his column – despite the odd bone tossed our way. Here’s what Rob wrote about the regal star sign as 2006 drew to a close:

Leo Horoscope for week of December 14, 2006

“Your face alternately contorts with strain and breaks into beatific grins. Your body language careens from garbled jargon to melodic poetry. Your clothes make a fool of you one day and show off your inner beauty the next. Are you becoming bi-polar? Probably not. The more likely explanation is that you’re being convulsed by growing pains that are killing off bad old habits as fast as they’re creating interesting new ones. This is one of those times when you should be proud to wear a badge that says ‘hurts so good.’”

And, you know, I took heart at the idea that people could change. That I could change. Not so much a new year’s resolution but a work in progress. I think that’s more artful and beauty-filled than any finished “piece.” Course, the years flow on, and nothing much does seem to change. Least of all me. And I find myself mired in my own shit all over again, or still. And then up pops another inspiring horoscope from my buddy Rob and I tempted to hope once more:

Leo Horoscope for week of December 18, 2008

“Happy Holy Daze, Leo! If I could give you one gift for the holidays, it might be a magic object to add to your love altar — something like a pomegranate resting on red velvet, or a golden heart-shaped magnet, or Pablo Neruda’s book 100 Love Sonnets. What? You don’t have a love altar? Well then please begin creating one as soon as possible, and continue building it throughout 2009. For the next 12 months, the time will be right to get smarter, wilder, and kinder in your approach to creating intimate connection.”

Sounds pretty awesome, hey? If only I could deliver. Once every year or two Rob Breszny comes through for Leo. Somehow, it feels too little, too late. A bit like me and my “changes.” I recently watched the latest from Harmony Korine, Mister Lonely. The Michael Jackson impersonator is played by the ohsolovely Diego Luna. The expansive Samantha Morton is Marilyn Munroe, who asks Michael whether anything ever changes. He says of course. And she repeats her question with more insistence: But does anything ever really change?”And Michael is stumped. Then Marilyn, true to form, kills herself. It’s a good movie. Go rent it.

My new year’s resolution for 2009 is the same one I set for myself every day, the same one I’ve had since I was about 30: to change myself. To rail against the social constraints and limitations that stripe my being like whip marks. I tell my students at the beginning of each course (whichever one) that the world is a social construction; as it is made daily by our participation in social and physical structures, by our acquiescence to the status quo, so it can be unmade, remade.

But can I remake myself? How to change daily practice that has become second nature? People default to nature as explanation, our animal instincts as some sort of salve that would soothe us, cleanse us, even, from any responsibility for our very conditioned (re)actions. It is tempting, believe me, but not in the spirit of metamorphosis.

Marcuse writes of “second nature” – both of the current capitalist set of values/mores and of the instinctual foundation for liberation:

“Once a specific morality is firmly established as a norm of social behaviour, it is not only introjected – it also operates as a norm of ‘organic’ behaviour the organism receives and reacts to certain stimuli and ‘ignores’ and repels others in accord with the introjected morality, which is thus promoting or impeding the function of the organism as a living cell in the respective society” (Essay on liberation, p. 11).

He further observes that the “so-called consumer economy and the politics of corporate capitalism” comprise the second nature of human, tying her “libidinally and aggressively to the commodity form.”  The constant need to possess, consume, own that capitalism offers to and imposes upon people has become “biological”in this sense.

“The second nature of (hu)man thus militates against any change that would disrupt and perhaps even abolish this dependence of (hu)man on a market ever more densely filled with merchandise – abolish [her] existence as a consumer consuming [her]self in buying and selling” (ibid). According to Marcuse, the needs created by the capitalist system are stabilizing and conservative – in this way, the counterrevolution becomes instinctive.

Marcuse says that unless the “revolt” – that is revolt against capitalism as a dominative and repressive mode of social organization – descends into this “second” nature, these ingrown patterns, “social change will remain incomplete, even self defeating” (ibid). The radical change needed to transform existing society into a free society therefore must take place within the individual, in the biological dimension, which will then unfurl and extend to social relations and then to social organization itself. For this to occur, according to Marcuse, the “vital, imperative needs and satisfactions of (hu)man” would need to assert themselves. Currently, our “instinctive” needs and satisfactions reproduce our servitude. “[L]iberation presupposes changes in this biological dimension, that is to say, different instincutal needs, different reactions of the body as well as the mind” (p. 17).

The difficulty is changing our instinctive reactions to the social conditioning that has literally ruined us as free, expressive, loving individuals. Intellectually, it isn’t that difficult to observe and analyze the history of humankind, which Marcuse calls the “history of domination and servitude.” But to liberate our scarred, branded, crippled selves from that history is tricky business indeed.

So it’s true: if you want to change the world, you have to change yourself first. And that in itself is a revolution. It might be bloody. And there might not be survivors. But as Spartacus said (just watched for the first time last night), a slave only finds freedom in death. I am speaking metaphorically here, and the conundrum remains: how to be reborn, free of the societal chains that confine and maim, and yet still live in that society?

The inner soundtrack of my life

October 7th, 2008

Today was a gorgeous fall day – mild, breezy and sunny, perfect for cycling to school and back. While I was cruising through Chinatown and along Union St. in Strathcona, I literally felt glad to be alive. It is rare that I contemplate my mortal self – the active state of my cells, my heart pumping, my lungs expanding and contracting. Usually I accept my “being in the world” (to poach recklessly from Heidegger), and mostly I rail against the injustices that plague human existence. But infrequently am I actually, actively, literally glad to be alive. Today was such a day. The exertion needed to get my very sexy but totally impractical gearless bike up the never-ending hills (even gentle inclines require me to stand up) got my blood moving and the soundtrack that happened to be in rotation on my ipod was perfect for such an effort. It was, I realized, the soundtrack of my life, perfectly in sync with every pedal, swerve, glide and coast of that moment: Prince, The Dandy Warhols, The Refugees, Erykah Badu, Hot Chip and of course, the Beastie Boys annotating my inner world, making me thankful for my physical presence on this fucked up planet.

Why I (heart) New York

July 22nd, 2008


For my reverse chronological account of Last H.O.P.E., go here.

  • tea party birthday
  • search engines usage statistics 2010
  • dis boards cruise
  • goodman
  • tea party chicago
  • ferrite
  • search engines questions
  • connecticut juvenile training schoolconnecticut kids
  • bea verdi
  • chad ochocinco sisterchad ochocinco twitter
  • flashpoint
  • connecticut 7 day weather forecast
  • vince young uncle rico gif
  • zara phillips husband
  • battleship kirishima
  • interceptor
  • c span 2009
  • freida pinto green dress
  • gaskets
  • withdrawal
  • new england patriots needs
  • cspan hosts
  • la ink map
  • vince young football camp
  • bengals tryouts
  • chicago bears 08 record
  • search in vi
  • vince young 6
  • la ink members
  • housekeeping
  • chicago bears garter
  • greg olsen football
  • cspan presidents
  • rosters
  • connecticut lakes
  • buble
  • search engines for jobs
  • bea input output
  • zara phillips school
  • hp support 530
  • greg olsen vikingsgreg olsen wife
  • freida pinto plastic surgery
  • bengals forum
  • disloyaldis magazine
  • chicago bears 09 draft
  • la ink season 6
  • bengals usa
  • hp support contact number
  • fiche
  • tea party 8 28 09
  • bengals merchandise
  • battleship texas hours
  • search tumblr
  • tender
  • hp support hard drive replacement
  • genuine
  • greg olsen university of miami
  • new england patriots 50
  • vince young rivals
  • sheetmetal
  • chad ochocinco ultimate catch cast
  • randy moss college
  • zara phillips wedding plans
  • randy moss wallpaper
  • ministry
  • new england patriots 84
  • bea 0b0 105
  • connecticut 30 news
  • bangles eternal flame mp3bengals forum
  • photoshop
  • hp support greece
  • hp support venezuela
  • module
  • beau coup
  • tea party texas
  • chad ochocinco height and weight
  • chicago bears jewish players
  • bea exhibitors
  • cspan ap government review
  • starbucks
  • hp support monitors
  • pretty
  • hp support center
  • bengals job fair
  • frederick
  • hp support 6310hp support 7200
  • diode
  • bengals new uniforms 2012
  • search engines non tracking
  • hp support chat
  • search 32
  • search chuck norris
  • bengals youth jerseys
  • chad ochocinco xpchad ochocinco youtube
  • pflugerville
  • protege
  • search lsu.edu
  • search engines no follow
  • connecticut airports
  • braid
  • la ink 3rd season
  • vince young usc
  • bengals hard knocks episode 1
  • vince young 10 11
  • zara phillips yachtzara phillips zimbio
  • randy moss combine results
  • zara phillips wedding date
  • vince young quiz
  • di's hallmark
  • hp support 6500a plus
  • tea party zombies download
  • randy moss mix
  • dis tester
  • vince young 99 yard video
  • vince young endorsementsvince young foundation
  • concerned
  • connecticut 100 club
  • chad ochocinco yesterday
  • connecticut post
  • doge
  • freida pinto chanel
  • knowledge
  • c span 4 to 5
  • piercing
  • narrow
  • detected
  • c span youtube obama
  • connecticut law tribune
  • chicago bears 2009 roster
  • makita
  • search xml file
  • hp support center
  • mtv oddities
  • search 50 cent
  • la ink tattoos
  • neon
  • buys
  • dis poem
  • forbes
  • mtv executivesmtv fantasy factory
  • roxio
  • bordeaux
  • connecticut quarry
  • chad ochocinco quotes video
  • search engines images
  • greg olsen mormon
  • venus
  • rhythm
  • search engines for jobs
  • greg olsen combine
  • lots
  • hp support quick test pro
  • greg olsen puzzles
  • cspan facebook
  • search engines compared
  • bengals arrests
  • mtv 30 years
  • commit
  • chad ochocinco nascar
  • mtv 2 schedule
  • bengals xxiii
  • connecticut limo
  • utopia
  • surplus
  • battleship vittorio veneto
  • new england patriots 65
  • new england patriots 4
  • 60 search engines virus
  • recall
  • erika
  • kirsch
  • connecticut department of labor
  • randy moss legal issues
  • randy moss yahoo stats
  • chicago bears football club
  • tea party table settings
  • chad ochocinco bears
  • peru
  • armrest
  • nike
  • c span yesterdayc span zelaya
  • connecticut food bank
  • new england patriots store
  • squirrels
  • battleship aurora
  • dis pater
  • battleship ipad
  • hijack
  • mtv cartoons
  • visors
  • mtv rivals
  • new england patriots offense